Tuesday, December 15, 2009

1150 East Wardlow rd., Long Beach, Ca 90807 562-427-0018

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Our Sale starts the day after Thanksgiving with $2.00 - $4.00 Freshwater Pearls & Gemstone Beads. There will be 25% discounts over the entire store (excluding chain & sterling findings). We just received beautiful Chinese Crystal equivalent to Swarovski’s 5301. The quality is absolutely unbelievable. We know there are unethical dealers who sell this kind of quality as Swarovski…but we won’t so we will be passing the savings and the quality on to you. There is limited quantity…so hurry in for best selection.

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Fake or Real - What is your Gemstone?" Part-1

I decided to write this article to help many of my customers who purchase gemstone beads/jewelry at gem shows or online.

We've all had the experience of finding a bead or gem that speaks to you. Yes…Love at first sight definitely counts. My motto is a pretty bead is a pretty bead so buy it if you like it, however you should know what you are buying. Purchasing something that is misrepresented whether intentionally or accidentally is not good for you or your business. A vendor who is not truthful may reap the benefits of an immediate sale but will not establish loyal business relationships.

In an ideal world, full disclosure before you purchase anything would save you tons of money and embarrassment, however since we know that that is wishful thinking and not reality, the following information should help you become a more informed gemstone buyer. Remember, If you don’t know your supplier well, be attentive before purchasing, trying to return items don't always work in your favor.

In section 23.22 of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) “Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries”. One reference clearly states that:
• It is unfair or deceptive to use the name of any precious or semi-precious stone to describe any product that is not in fact a natural stone of the type described.

Oh well…so much for the Federal Trade Commission's rule. Remember when the beautiful varieties of quartz/glass hit the market a couple of years ago. They all had those luscious fruity names, like Strawberry, Pineapple, Blueberry, Cherry etc. I fell in love with them and I still buy them, only now, I now that they are glass. Glass that is beautiful with luscious colors and added line patterns to enhance the flavor. During that time, I heard lots of customers wondering why their vendor didn't tell them that the Cherry/Pineapple beads was really glass and not Quartz at all?”

I have managed to put together some information to help you sort out real gemstones from the fakes. Glass, and a mixture of glass and other materials, is making this chore a hard task. We won't have the space in this article to completely cover all the information but lets start with one major basic to aid you in determining glass from gems.

First buy yourself a loupe or a magnifying glass. We've got them at Pudgy's for $10.00. You will be using this throughout your gem-buying spree.

1. Check out the interior of the bead. If they are glass, you will see bubbles or swirls. The bubbles could look like typical round bubbles or they can look like swirls or oblong bubbles.
2. Another way to distinguish glass from stones is by touch, although this is not always reliable because of the surrounding air temperature. Glass doesn’t feel as cool as gemstones, and with experience you can get quite good using this method.

The following is just a sample of the many fake gemstones you will find at many gem shows or online.

· Pineapple/Blueberry/Strawberry Quartz - If those Pineapple and Strawberry glass beads were indeed quartz they would have angular solid looking inclusions of tiny crystals because quartz is a crystalline material. Don't mistake "Lemon Quartz" for the other fruity glass variety; usually "Lemon Quartz" is a variation of Carnelian.
· Opalite – Opalite is sometimes referred to as Sea Opal. Its semi-transparent slightly hazy, iridescent quality is beautiful but it is glass.
· Turquoise – Be particularly careful when purchasing this stone. Some Turquoise is made from powdered Turquoise and epoxy around a base of rock or lead. Some are just powdered Turquoise and glue. Some stone manufacturers will make mass amounts using the glue and powdered turquoise and pass it off as legitimate Turquoise. Another one to watch out for is dyed Howlite or Magnesite. Howlite is sometimes referred to as “Buffalo Turquoise. A well-known process among unscrupulous manufacturers is to place Howlite into “Tidy Bowl” toilet cleaner. The result will produce some very good-looking fake Turquoise…try it.
· Goldstone – You might see this sold as Sunstone. This is not a natural stone. It is glass. It is made with a mixture of copper or copper salts and silica. Oxidizing these components in a flame forces the copper and silica to produce a bluish-green glass. When the reduced goldstone melts and cools, the copper remains in small crystalline clusters. It’s the copper that gives this glass its beautiful reddish brown color and the resulting crystals give it those sparkly silvery flecks.
· Amber - is usually faked using plastic resin or it is reconstituted. Reconstituted Amber is made from scraps and shavings generated by Amber carvers. Using heat they press them into large blocks. Insects are often added to make it appear more real. To tell if its real or fake you can try rubbing it, doing so will casue it to give off an electrical charge so that it will attract a very light object..like a feather. If you’ve already purchased your Amber, you can use several tablespoons of salt in a glass of water. Amber will float, while glass or resin will sink. You can also try pricking your amber in the hole or any area that is hidden with a heated pin the smell from the prick should be of pine or wood..not plastic.

Part 2 of this article will be in the next issue of "Pudgy News"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Sterling Silver Rip-Off's"

It seems as though with the current recession we are having more and more customers come into the store having purchased what they thought was sterling silver from vendors at gem shows. We had one customer who had purchased over $300.00 in sterling plate copper. Fortunately before she sold it to her customers she came into the store where we tested it for her. Unfortunately she wasn't able to get her money back.
If you will be purchasing a large amount of silver from a dealer you haven’t bought from before, it may benefit you to purchase a Nitric acid test kit, it is very portable, since it is only a single bottle. These kits are quite reliable for determining if an item is silver or if it contains no silver. Although these kits won’t tell you what the other metal is it definitely will tell you what the metal is not.
If you will be making a large purchase from a new dealer randomly choose a single item or two from them, make a slight nick in a hidden spot. Nicking the item will also let you know if you are purchasing a plated item or not. It will also cut through any lacquer that may be on the piece. Use a small file to nick an area, and then place a drop of your acid on that area. When testing pure silver you should get a creamy color, Sterling Silver will test a hue darker but you should still get a cream color. If you don’t want to file a piece you can use one of our test stones. These small stones allow you to slide your piece over the stone. making a slight scratch on the stone…then drop one drop of the acid on the scratched stone and notice the color you get.
You should only do this test when you have access to water since you will need it to rinse your items when you are finished. Once you’ve finished testing the piece if it is real sterling you should be able to buff out any of the slight whitish or grayish discoloration the chemical leaves.
We’ve got the sterling and gold test acid in the store for and we’ve got the test stones for $6.00. Drop by and pick one up..the reputation you save may be yours. To read the complete article on sterling visit our website and click on articles.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pudgy Beads is now open on SUNDAYS!
Yes, you read it right, we will be open on Sundays begin­ning the second Sunday in September (9/13/09). Sunday hours are from 12pm-4pm. Over the years we have always had requests to be open on Sundays. So we are happy to be able to serve some of our loyal customers who work and can’t get into the store during regular hours. Please continue to let us know how we can make our store serve you better. See you on Sunday!

Pudgy Class Schedule

Yes our new class schedule is rocking and rolling. Our first PMC class was a SUCCESS! Everyone left happy with several beautiful pendants. To view photos of our classes online go to http://pudgybeads.com/websiteclassfall09.pdf